Medium Writers Challenge Contest Frequently Asked Questions

Is Medium claiming ownership of my submission? 

No, Medium does not and will not own your submission. You own the copyright to your submission. We are asking you to grant us a license for your submission, as we have always done for all for writing on Medium (see the section on Rights and Content in our Terms of Service). Please see the question immediately below for more details about the license.

What is the one-year license I am granting to Medium for this contest? 

The license is nearly the same as the one you grant to Medium outside of the contest (see the section on Rights and Content in our Terms of Service) with two key differences: it is irrevocable for one year because we want to ensure your story remains on Medium for readers for at least one year [after that you can remove, but we hope you'll keep it up!], and we want to be able to promote your work in relation to the contest. 

The license that you grant allows Medium to display and render your work across Medium's surfaces and for different features that live on Medium. It is non-exclusive, meaning that the license you give Medium doesn't prevent you from granting another license to someone else or using it for yourself. This license does not grant us ownership of your content.

Medium requires the license because you own your content and Medium therefore can’t display it across its various surfaces (i.e., mobile, web) without your permission. For example, you post a submission on Medium. It is reproduced on both our website and app, and distributed to multiple places within Medium, such as the homepage or reading lists. A modification might include showing a snippet of your work (and not the full post) in a preview, with attribution to you. A derivative work might be a list of top authors or quotes on Medium that uses portions of your content, again with full attribution.  

Can Medium sell my work without compensating me?

No, we may not. You own the rights to your work, as with all work on Medium. Since we do not own your work, we do not have the right to sell it. 

Can Medium sell or develop my work for film, television, podcast, or other related media projects?

No. You own the copyright. Only copyright owners can sell or develop their work. The ability to develop a film, television, podcast, or other related media projects from your submission is not included in the license. 

Can I monetize my story elsewhere?

Yes, once the contest is over. Keep in mind the story can only appear on Medium during the contest period. If you'd like to monetize your story on Medium during the contest period, you could do so through the Partner Program.

What aspect of a writer’s identity will Medium be using?

Use of a writer’s identity is limited to name and image. Additionally, the terms only allow use of the writer’s name and image to publicize the contest, participants, winners, and prizes.

Can Medium modify my work?

No. We will not change or edit your work without your permission. Our intent is to use excerpts from submissions to promote the writers and their submissions.

These uses require a “right to modify,” which is in our Terms of Service and standard for all writing submissions on Medium. For example, this right enables us to show a preview of your work in our app, or cite a quote from your work - of course, with full attribution (you will always be credited for your work).

How long do I have to keep my submission on Medium? 

We ask that you keep your submission on Medium for at least one year after the contest term, so that readers have an opportunity to enjoy all entries (not just winners).

Can a story be entered in the contest and submitted to a Medium publication? 

Yes, stories can be published into a Medium publication and still be eligible for the challenge. They just need to be tagged properly, and published after July 28th, 2021.
**Note: stories published into Medium owned and operated publications are not eligible for the challenge, including Elemental, GEN, OneZero, Forge, LEVEL, Zora, Marker, Index, Creator’s Hub, Debugger, Future Human, Momentum, Human Parts, and #StopAsianHate.

Can I tag and submit an already published story? 

No. Stories must be published for the first time after July 28th, 2021 and before August 24, 2021 to be eligible.

Will every submission be read? 


Is there a maximum length? 

There is a 500 word minimum length, but no maximum length for a story. 

Do I have to be enrolled in the Medium Partner Program

No, you just have to have a (free) Medium account to publish.

Can I meter my submission to earn? 

Yes, submissions can be metered in our Partner Program, and earn during and after the contest.

Is the prize money coming out of the Partner Program money pool? 

No, we are not using money from the Partner Program to fund the Writers Challenge.

Do I need a Medium Membership subscription to participate? 

No, you do not need a paid Medium Membership to submit a story. 

Can I submit to all four prompts? 

Yes, you can enter one submission per prompt, for a total of 4 submitted stories.

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